Biography of William E. Schnebly

It is with pleasure that we are enabled to grant this estimable gentleman a representation in the history of Nez Perces County since he has not only made a handsome success in business matters in the west, as his fine holding and enterprise will show, but has also achieved a success as an educator; in addition to these two lines of commendable labor he has also done worthy work in the ministerial line, having been exceptionally favored as a missionary in establishing Churches of his faith. Mr. Schnebly is a Baptist of the true stock and has preached for many’ years in the sections where he has resided and many places in the west are deeply indebted to him for sound moral teaching and gospel preaching.

A more minute detail of his life will be interesting and therefore we note at the beginning that he was born in Clarke County, Missouri, on December 14, 1854, being the son of John H. and Mary E. (Northcraft) Schnebly. The father was a farmer, born in Maryland in 1816 and died in 1889. He was sheriff of Clarke County for two terms, was pioneer of that County as he had been of Peoria, Illinois and was a capable and respected man. The mother of our subject was born in Virginia in 1830 and died in 1890. Her father was a pioneer of Clarke County, Missouri, having come thither in the thirties. Our subject received a common school education while at home and remained with his parents who removed to various places. The father served in the Civil war in the quartermaster’s department and on account of the scourge of the war removed after it closed to Lafayette, Saline and Knox counties, to the latter in 1869.

When William was twenty-five years of age, he saw the need of better education and so labored and attended Edina Seminary. He began his career of teaching at that time and has followed it more or less since. He taught and preached and finally in t88i, came west to Montana and the next year to Garfield County, Washington. He farmed four hundred acres there, taught school, and preached, being as busy a man as could be found in the County. About this time, being thirty, he determined to study in the theological seminary and accordingly went to Louisville, Kentucky, and took a course. He returned to Latah County where he had purchased land and settled to till the same, but also took up missionary work in his Church. For three years he was missionary pastor in Kendrick and he established Churches at Ping, Washington, Pine Grove, Idaho, Kendrick, Big Meadows, and Lookout. Mr. Schnebly remained in Latah County until the reservation was opened and then took up land where Lookout now stands.

On January 13, 1888, in Knox County, Missouri, Mr. Schnebly married Lucy A., daughter of Wellington and Amanda A. (Stapeles) Buford, natives of Virginia and pioneers of Lewis County, Missouri, both dying in Knox County. Mr. Buford was a brick mason and for years was judge of Knox County. Mrs. Schnebly was born in Knox County in 1854 and has ten brothers and four sisters. Mr. Schnebly has the following named brothers and sisters, Frances V., Elizabeth V., Arabella, John H., Andrew, and Richard, the last one deceased. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Schnebly, William B. B., at home. Mrs. Schnebly’s brother, George, was a soldier in the Civil war. Mr. Schnebly is a Prohibitionist and was nominated by his party for secretary of state.

He is an advocate of good schools and morals and always labors for these worthy ends. Mr. Schnebly is a man of business and is handling the telephone system of this section, having been the promoter of it and now owns a two-third interest in the property. In addition to this he has a farm of one hundred and twenty acres at Lookout and one hundred and sixty in Latah County.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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